From Box Office to X-Box

Box office revenues may be slightly up, but recession cutbacks in American households and losses from illegal movie downloading have made a significant dent in film studio profits over the last few years. So these master marketeers are seeking alternative ways to target consumers, including the sale of virtual goods

 ♦ Sales of virtual goods (nonphysical items such as virtual clothing or gifts to be used online) are called microtransactions.

Hitting over $7.3 billion in sales in 2010, the virtual goods industry encompasses everything from virtual clothing to virtual farms used in online communities and gaming. Studios such as Warner Bros. and Paramount are tapping into this market and the $25 billion gaming industry to extend the reach of their core products.

Trey Geiger and Otis Perrick, co-founders of Disruptive Publishers and former developers with gaming giant EA, have created virtual goods for the Harry Potter movie franchise and South Park television series. Geiger says the exponential growth of the industry “is significantly impacting the way studios are thinking about traditional forms of revenue and marketing. Studios and major brands alike realize the video gaming industry targets a mass audience. In fact more than 82 percent of households have a traditional gaming console, and these micro-transactions are the key to additional revenue streams.”

How might all this impact your business? Stay tuned for the July issue of SUCCESS!

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